2nd-gen ISRO navigation satellite to be launched today

29 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

ISRO National

On Monday morning, ISRO will launch its first second-generation navigation satellite using a GSLV rocket.

On Monday morning, ISRO will launch its first second-generation navigation satellite using a GSLV rocket. India is aiming for a significant leap in providing real-time positioning and timing services over the country and a region extending approximately 1,500 kilometres around the Indian mainland, and this new satellite series with enhanced capabilities compared to its predecessors is regarded as a game-changer, particularly in meeting strategic needs.

The Indian regional navigation satellite system (IRNSS), also known as NavIC, necessitates the deployment of at least seven fully functional satellites in precise orbits, three in geostationary and four in geosynchronous orbits. Between 2013 and 2018, India successfully launched eight navigation satellites into orbit, with a few of them currently inoperable due to faulty imported atomic clocks.

The second-generation navigation satellites, according to ISRO, will not only ensure the continuity of legacy NavIC services, but will also provide new services in the L1 band and include an indigenously developed Rubidium atomic clock. The L1 navigation band is popular for providing civilian users with PNT (position, navigation, and timing) services as well as interoperability with other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), and BeiDou (China).

The GSLV-F12/NVS-01 mission on Monday will be ISRO’s fourth launch of the year. It has already completed three successful missions, including the launch of its smallest rocket, SSLV, a PSLV, and its heaviest rocket, LVM3.

The GSLV rocket carrying the 2,332 kg navigation satellite NVS-01 will lift off from the second launch pad at 10.42 a.m. on Sunday, with the countdown beginning at 7.12 a.m. According to ISRO, the navigation payload uses a tri-band antenna and operates in the L1, L5, and S bands. The Rubidium atomic frequency standard (RAFS) atomic clock, which serves as a stable frequency reference for the navigation payload, is at the heart of the navigation payload.